The COVID-19 has hit the United States hard with efforts to contain the spread of the virus seeing nonessential business services closed for the time being. This has had a devastating impact on the economy, with many industries feeling the brunt of forced closure. Arguably, one of the most affected sectors is the gambling and entertainment industry.
MGM Resorts Interim CEO Bill Hornbuckle believes that the industry could begin its comeback as soon as the end of this month. In an interview with the NBC Today show, the CEO was quoted as saying that if the number of COVID-19 cases across the state remains low, he believes that casinos will be able to reopen by the end of May or beginning of June.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a stay-at-home order in March which is expected to end on Friday. The order saw every single casino across the state suspend its operations under the regulations of the order. With the gambling industry making nearly 20% of the state’s overall tax revenues, this closure has had a detrimental effect.
Sisolak has deferred that process by which casinos will reopen to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). With the industry being an instrumental part of the state’s economy, many parties will surely want to reopen venues sooner rather than later.
MGM CEO OUTLINE FOR REOPENING
Hornbuckle appears to be quite optimistic about going back to business soon and believes that casinos will be able to reopen safely if certain safety procedures are followed. Part of his plan to reopen MGM venues include updating cleaning schedules, installing temperature screening tools to monitor employees and administering COVID-19 tests.
All workers will need to wear masks within the casino. It will not be compulsory for patrons to do so unless they are withing a six-foot distance from a casino worker. In addition, spaces will be placed between patrons to ensure that the maximum level of safety can be achieved. Hornbuckle has suggested that the reopening will see about only 25% of the available “game space” used.
It will be interesting to see how quickly the industry is able to recover from the effects of the global pandemic and whether anyone will actually visit casinos at this point in time. Always remember if you are looking to play casino games but are too afraid to go outside, you can still get your fix by playing online.